BackgroundSteroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA) is a common inflammatory neurologic disorder of dogs for which certain breeds are predisposed.
ObjectivesTo determine whether breed differences exist in clinical features, treatment response, and relapse in a population of North American dogs with SRMA, and to evaluate the effect of disease on dogs' quality of life (QoL).
AnimalsSixty-one client-owned dogs with SRMA: 29 dogs identified through an American Kennel Club-Canine Health Foundation survey and 32 dogs from North Carolina (NC) State Veterinary Hospital.
MethodsRetrospective case series. Caregivers completed an online survey to assess QoL.
ResultsBreeds represented most often included the Golden Retriever (n = 12), Bernese Mountain Dog (10), Wirehaired Pointing Griffon (9), Boxer (9), and Beagle (6). No breed differences were identified with respect to clinical severity, diagnostic findings, or outcome. Twenty-nine dogs (48%) had ?1 disease relapse. There was a significant effect of cerebrospinal fluid nucleated cell count on the frequency of disease relapse (P =?.003), but no relationship was identified between treatment protocol and relapse. Dogs' QoL was associated with the severity of corticosteroid-related adverse effects (P =?.03), which were dose-related (r =?.24, P =?.02) and more prevalent in Wirehaired Pointing Griffons than in other breeds (P =?.04).
Conclusion and clinical importanceGolden Retrievers and Wirehaired Pointing Griffons should be considered among the breeds recognized to develop SRMA. Treatment with higher corticosteroid dosages is correlated with more severe adverse effects and worse QoL, but it may not improve clinical outcome.